Expedition 2000 to Isla
Entomological Survey Methods
There has never been a focused effort to collect and assess the entomofauna of Isla Guadalupe. Most invertebrate records have been a result of advantageous collecting of specimens during both casual and scientific visits to the island. Reasons for this have been the inaccessibility of the island, obtaining permission to visit, and the impact to the native habitat by goats. Many of the insects endemic to the island are described from single individuals with little or no additional biological information. Floristically, the island is better researched, although there are still significant gaps in our knowledge. Isolated islets and protected cliffs and rock outcroppings still may maintain significant native plants and animals. The majority of insect specimens gathered from Isla Guadalupe are housed in the collections of the San Diego Natural History Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
Standard entomological collecting techniques will be used in obtaining specimens. These include the use of insect nets, pit fall traps, malaise insect interception traps, blacklight traps for night flying insects, baits, and sex attractants (pheromones). Most insects will be processed in the field (pinned and labeled), while other invertebrate specimens will be stored in 70% ethyl alcohol. Since the collection of invertebrate specimens rarely has any impact on their overall populations, numerous individuals may be obtained. This will help in determining population densities along with individual variation. Larger sample sizes will also allow for better description of any new species, which is to be expected. Unique habitats and endemic vegetation will be carefully surveyed for their invertebrate associates. Finally, any insect specimens found in association with the island's mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, or plants, especially ectoparasites, will be retained.
Specimens will initially be deposited in the Entomology Department of the San Diego Natural History Museum. As specimens are sorted and species identified, representative samples will be delivered to Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (BCMEX), with any possible type material shared with the national collection in Mexico City as this institution has done in the past. Binational collaboration and permits will be secured before research is initiated. Since no live material will be retained and transported into the United States, and no invertebrate specimens from this region are listed by CITES, it will not be necessary to obtain importation permits as long as there is proper documentation of collecting permits from the country of origin. All material will be declared when entering the United States to both Customs and agricultural inspectors.